The Education System

Instead of coercion, compulsion and monism, the central values behind education should be choice and respect for our rights, in particular the prior rights of parents to decide what kind of education their children should get! 

The core of the Problem

What's wrong with Public School?

Education is a convenient instrument in the hands of politicians with dictatorial inclination. Dictators seek to make anything into an instrument to grab control over society. They first seek to control the military, the media, the police and many more areas, typically in that order. But public school certainly doesn't come last - in many respects it constitutes the biggest prize for dictators who seek to cement their position. They will seek to mould young people into the robot that believes that individuality is bad and should be destroyed. Most sadly, we parents are then forced to pay the system that imposes this indoctrination on our own children. [source]

Is there research or debate on this?

Public schools do represent and reflect a specific political view, making it rather awkward for them to discuss other political views (e.g. those contained in specific religions, philosophies and ideologies). It's a textbook case of conflict of interests. Just like we cannot expect a catholic school to give a good pagan education. Of course, the apologists for this will argue that there was no good pagan education to start with, they will argue that paganism is inherently bad. But anyone who really thinks matters through will recognize the problem. Just like catholic schools cannot be expected to give a pagan education, public schools are unable to adequately cover the wide range of religions, philosophies and ideologies, because they themselves have a very specific political agenda.

The worst thing in this discussion is that there are some people who seek to fool others by cloaking their obviously biased views in pseudo-science and by administering their indoctrination by stealth. This basic dishonesty is just another reason why public schools are inherently more expensive than private schools, i.e. there's the added cost of deprogramming these poor children who have been forced to subject themselves to indoctrination from a young and impressionable age. It can take many years before school-leavers can become employable, but that still means they have been denied the education they could have had, while society as a whole has been impregnated with bad moral values. If we also take the latter two into account, public schools do immeasurable damage.
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Public school enforces itself at the threat of disciplinary action, but - even more insidiously - at the threat of public humiliation. Indeed, the moment anyone curiously wonders why things have to be this way, the system will seek to attack and ridicule such "disobedience", acting as if nobody had ever protested and as if there was no specific political message associated with public school. Thus, public school teaches this obvious lie as a truth, making a lie into the cornerstone of a method that was furthermore founded in dictatorial aspirations, but that has rarely been exposed as such because it has managed to indoctrinate so many people from a young and impressionable age. [source]

What values does the education system teach?

The question is what is the underlying philosophy of the education system. The answer is it is compulsion. Period. No pretensions that school actually was good for anything or good at anything else but imposing dictatorial rule and teaching this. The system just seeks to impose itself upon children and families at large. It doesn't matter what name you give to this underlying philosophy, call it an ideology or religion if you like, I call it what it is: dictatorship. It's forcing kids to go to school for the sake of it. And that's why there is no integrity behind the education system! How dare teachers claim to be fit to teach our children! [source]

Let's look at the philosophy behind the education system in general. Government's involvement in education represents a level of coercion, compulsion and monoism that teaches the wrong values. The more choice is taken out of people's hands, the more the policy becomes - in one word - dictatorial. If that policy is applied to education, then dictatorial values will inevitably be taught by such education. [source]

Educationally and morally, it's wrong! From a narrow, specific political view, some may be (mistakenly, IMO) perceived to benefit, but take a bit wider perspective and it's a logistical nighmare that is full of economically waste and ineffectiveness! Vouchers would be a vast improvement. But even better would be to remove government from education altogether. There is no evidence that government is a better teacher. Without government involvement in education, children would learn more and better, AND there would be greater prosperity for all. Money that is now wasted by government on inferior education could be spent much more prudently, resulting in a stronger economy with more opportunities for young people to learn and work. The more choice you take out of people's hands the more your policy becomes - in one word - dictatorial. If that policy is applied to education, then dictatorial values will inevitably be taught by such education. [source]

Any such reform should be implemented as part of a package that includes many more things. Such a package should address tax, education, police and military forces, and many more. [source]


Proposed Reform

1. Compulsory school attendance laws

This should be completely revised. Vouchers go some way to remedy the situation, but we should see more respect for the prior rights of parents to decide what kind of education their children get. Not only should homeschooling be better accommodated, but the whole concept of education should be re-evaluated. Government has proven to be the wrong instrument to make that assessment. Parental rights and the free market should prevail.

2. Tax

We should work towards removing the icy grip of government from education altogether. Tax deductions for money spent by a family on the education of their children is something that should also be comtemplated as a step in the right direction. More generally, we should not look at the education system in isolation, but seek reform as a package that covers all sectors of society.

3. School Vouchers

School vouchers allow parents to choose where they previously had no choice. Some strong arguments in favor of vouchers are that they better reflect our rights and that they add market efficiencies to a currently wasteful and bureaucratically-run system. There are many more arguments in favor of vouchers, but as said above, eventually we need to work towards removing the icy grip of government from education altogether.

4. Teacher Unions and Professional Associations

The educational bureaucracy and trade unions have a strong grip over who is allowed to teach, in many respects they even deny private schools independence in deciding who they want to employ at what wages. School vouchers could improve this situation, as parents can vote with their feet for schools with the best teachers. However, if the unions that dominate the public school system could extent their grip over private schools, then most of the gains could be lost.

So, what should be done to break the trade unions' grip over the system? We should consider applying anti-trust and anti-racketeering laws to educational institutions, to professional associations and to trade unions. The current system is prone to corruption, cronyism and nepotism, while commercial criteria are way down the list when decisions are made. Trade practice laws should by imposed over all commercial decisions.

5. Child Labor Laws

Indeed, why shouldn't children be allowed to work, especially if there were obvious educational benefits. Why couldn't learning and work be combined, as has always been the case with apprentices? The apprencticeship model is much under-rated, through deliberate efforts by school teachers to denigrate work that requires manual skills. School imposes a new class system on society, through indoctrination of students that it was inferior to go into a honest trade and develop manual skills, while the university is glorified as something that was superior. The education system seeks to keep students captive as long as possible inside the walls of its institutes. Some "students" are still "studying" when they are 30-years-old, i.e. far beyond the age where one normally finds a job and starts a family. This disgraceful system is extremely wasteful for society at large, it's like a parasite feeding on the honest work of the manual occupations it despises, while glorifying money schemes, power plots, elitism and bureaucracy.

6. Minimum Wages Laws

The education system seeks to constantly expand the age-range of people it captures through mandatory regulations. Because of minimum wages, students cannot be employed. The system has deliberately made them unemployable, by teaching them no practical skills, while indoctrinating them with an attitude that is hostile to the realities of the commercial world. Minimum wages just add to this situation, making that students remain captive within the education system, as they have nowhere else to go.

7. Occupational licensing

This is another point that shows how much the education system is intertwined with society at large. Rather than educating students, many institutions merely provide people - at a cost - with entry tickets into such certain occupations. It's not just licences that have created such a system, many professions and trades are closed shops and you will not get in unless they let you (on their terms). As said under point 4., trade unions and professional associations should comply with the law as this is imposed in other sectors, such as anti-trust legislation and anti-racketeering laws. Occupational protection and privilege is wasteful and will in the end backlash, hurting even those who initially believed to benefit from it! [source]

8. Public Schools

Families should be able to choose the education they want for their children more directly. Large public schools should be split up into multiple smaller ones and poor families should receive vouchers to allow them to make that choice more directly. [source]

It's better to split up a large public school into structurally separate corporations that compete for customers. Initially, government will remain the main customer of such corporations; progressively, tax deductions and vouchers should enable such corporations to offer education more directly to a variety of customers. Government as a customer will thus gradually decrease in importance, as other customers (including companies, non-profit organizations, families and individuals) proportionally grow. [source]

The full force of the law should be imposed to ensure fair conduct and trade practices take place, specifically anti-racketeering laws (RICO) and anti-trust and cartel legislation. No copyright privilege should be given to education.

9. Alternatives to school

At the moment, many homeschoolers do an excellent job educating their own children, without getting any funding from government and without being able to deduct the cost of homeschooling from tax. By contrast, the cost of a computer can be fully deducted from the parents' income, if that computer is NOT used by the children. That is an absurd situation. [source]

We have to also look at other ways to reform the system, such as integrating education in work, leisure and day-to-day activities. The current model gives a lot of funding to classroom teaching, whereas other types of learning are as much effective, if not more effective. [source]

Alternatives to classroom learning should be considered more seriously, e.g. homeschooling, self-learning, online learning, tutoring, etc. Finally, there should be more integration of education with real life, specifically work environments as students get older, offering more trainees and apprenticeships, on-the-job learning, participation in research, etc. [source]

10. Research

Research is simply better done at labs and research centers of large companies as opposed to universities. Much research can also be better done at home. [source]

11. Public Holidays

Government controls society through public holidays, daylight saving, regulations regarding shop trading hours, etc. School attendance hours should be decided between the school and the respective family.

12. Curriculum

What subject matter is taught at school? What is the basic premise behind science and academic knowledge? That there are absolute, perpetual and universal laws and rules that do not change over time? What belief and values does this express? How about optionality and an open mind?

 

In the current education system, aren't teachers merely passing on real knowledge gained by standing on the shoulders of our intellectual predecessors?

Their predecessors must have been despots and terrorists. Real knowledge... com'on! Teachers stand on the gates of a protection racket, designed to imprison our beautiful children and to twist our children's mind into robotism. Teachers falsely appropriate the inventions and artwork of others and present this as if it was theirs. Teachers exploit the privileges in copyright laws to build up a monopoly. The values associated with that system are evil. Teachers stand on a pile of horror! For starters, let's stop these guys from collecting payments for holding our kids at ransom! Let's invoke anti-racketeering laws against these practices!

Let's shake up the system and don't leave anything standing. We'll have to start from scratch, because the whole system is rotten to the bone. If, after the shake-up, there are any teachers left with integrity, then they shouldn't fear the future. But the parasites who sit there in their ivory towers, designing new schemes to force honest people to give up their hard-earned cash for a load of nonsense, they deserve all that's coming to them.
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It's no secret conspiracy. The tragedy is that it's all done openly, with the deliberate intention to add insult to injury of those who do an honest job in the hope their kids will get a good education, only to see their hard-earned money taken away by force and wasted on teachers who do the exact opposite. What values is such a system supposed to teach? [source]

The education system is a predatory system that systematically forces children into the hands of those who seek to feed on this! Without these predators, society will be so much better off. Families will finally be able to live in peace as the children can finally develop their talents to their fullest extent and can reach their full potential.

How exactly parents want their children educated is, first of all, in their own hands. Parents may take advice in this decision and they may make arrangements acting on this advice. But the decision how their children are to be educated remains, first of all, a decision that parents make. You may continue to insist that this decision should be taken out of the hands of parents. If so, I can only conclude and repeat that this reflects bad values, values that are the very opposite of the values we want our children to learn. This is not just a matter of opinion. We have the right and the duty to protect our children from predators and to see that our children are educated in accordance with values we believe in.
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Isn't equity central in the current education system? Isn't it - through public school - giving the poor an education that would otherwise only be accessible for the upper class? Wouldn't such reform widen class differences?

Are you saying that the education system gives everybody equal chances? What chances does a poor, black kid have to become a judge? Kids from rich families end up in far higher proportions in professions like law and medicine, while kids from a poor, black family end up in prison in far higher proportions. These poor families are forced to cough up the very taxes that pay for the rich kids to get their degrees and convict the poor. The whole system is geared towards keeping a small elite in their position of power. Don't come up with this "equity" rhetoric in a vain effort to defend a system that has class written all over it! [source]

The current system institutionalizes this. Things cannot get much worse. It's an elitist system that fools some people into believing that it protected the poor. The reality is that the poor are forced into inferior public schools. The fact that public school is "free" makes it hard for commercial alternatives to compete with it. The irony is that it's not free at all, since we've all got to pay for the inferior education that public school gives. [source]

You say that homeschooling should be better accommodated. Doesn't the law currently allow for families to choose to homeschool, if they want to? Doesn't the education system ensure that everyone receives the best education they could get? Should families be forced to keep their kids home if they don't want to? What evidence is there that homeschooling was better than school?

The education system does NOT "ensure that everyone receives the best education they could get". Instead, it gives some of the worst possible outcomes that could easily have been avoided, had we not been deceived into falsely putting our trust in school. Without government control over education, we'll be better off.

I never said that everyone should keep their kids at home. Homeschooling comes with many activities outside the family home, undertaken under the guidence of parents and the family in general. It's families keeping the education of their children into their own hands, where it rightfully belongs.
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Obviously, homeschoolers are not the ones seeking to enforce their ideas about education onto others. Instead, it's those who take least part in the education of their children, who seek to force children of others into schools! They do so without even bothering to find educational arguments. They just want kids out of their way. It's the opposite of having the best future of those kids in mind.

Now I ask you. Should there conduct here go unquestioned? Should the bullying, the amoral conduct and intellectual diarrhea they seek to impose on our children go unquestioned? Especially when this is supposed to be a reflection of what the education system stands for? Is a kid who is forced into such a horrific scenario not entitled to an explanation? Obviously, the onus to explain things is on those who seek to impose their nightmare upon others, not on the one who raises a finger against it the horror.
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Such calls for evidence are even more inappropriate when matters of conscience are at stake. In this regard, people's rights are self-evident and require no prior justification. In matters of principle, calls for evidence become not just inappropriate, but outright offensive, ..they effectively constitute an attack on everyone.. [source]

[Homeschooling is just one alternative to school.] Apprecticeship may be another avenue. There are many alternatives and ways to mix them. School is not the best place to learn practical skils and get practical experience. Yet, the education system falsely hangs on to school as the sole educational alternative. That in itself expresses an unacceptable message, which is made worse by the way this message is forcibly imposed upon children.

I'm convinced that homeschooling works better, but I do not suggest that all families should be forced into homeschooling. Thus, the onus is not on me to justify homeschooling, since I'm not saying that everyone should be doing homeschooling. Government, on the other hand, does force children into public school and because of that, the onus is on government to justify this move by tabling unbiased research. The absence of the latter proves my point.

Families who cannot afford to homeschool are forced to send their children to public schools. Government refuses to inform families of their right to homeschool. Government makes it hard for families to homeschool by taxing them to pay for the school habits of other families. Government makes it hard for homeschoolers in all kinds of ways, while instead pouring millions of our hard-earned dollars into the indoctrinary propaganda machine represented by public school.

Right now, the education system forces children into public schools. The associated force, bullying, deceipt and coercion expresses and thus teaches inherently bad moral values. Vouchers would go some way to improve things, but more generally we should get rid of any government involvement in education.
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Doesn't the education system give everyone the chance to develop their talents to their full potential? Without it, what would the chances be for a modern-day Einstein?

Einstein was very unhappy at the Catholic elementary school he attended in Munchen, where discipline, obedience and conformity were preached, which was especially hard to digest for Einstein, who apparently was dyslexic. Yes, like many famous inventors (including Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell), Albert Einstein appeared to be dyslexic as a child. We will never know for sure, because deslyxia was hardly recognized in those days and Einstein, like any obedient child, was described as a good pupil at school.

Yet, Einstein appeared to grow up with a "retarded" stigma. Dyslexics think more in pictures than in verbal concepts, they need to translate their "pictures" into words and vice versa, taking more time to process verbal language, especially concepts that cannot be easily put into pictures, like the words "the," "was," and "and." This makes dyslexic people appear to be "slow", especially in a school environment that seems to prepare boys only for reading bible texts. For his teachers, the young Einstein appeared slow in both literacy (reading, writing and spelling) and numeracy (math, formulas and symbols), the very two academic subjects that were regarded in such high esteem by his school.

At home, at the age 10, Einstein sets into a program of self education, reading as much about science as he can. Most of his education consisted of the study and reading he undertook on his own, and under the guidance of his Uncle Jakob and the young medical student and family friend Max Talmud.

Einstein subsequently dropped out of school without a degree and applied at the Zurich Polytechnic for a teacher training program, but failed the entrance examinations. His family then sent him to a Swiss secondary school, where he spent another year with the family of one of the teachers there. Away from his family, Einstein spent time writing his first scientific work, which was never published. At the age of 17, he was finally accepted for at the Zurich Polytechnic. This was not a research institute for physics. It was a four year long teacher training program. After completion, Einstein applies without success for the job of an assistant at the Polytechnic and at various universities. It was not only that he couldn't get a job in physics or that his math was too poor, there was no university that would recognize any talent in Einstein for years to come.

While continuing to apply without success for a job as assistant, Einstein took up a series of posts as a teacher and tutor in Germany and Switzerland for the next two years and in 1902, he started to work in the patent office in Bern, a job a former fellow student had helped him find. To make a living he puts ads in newspapers offering private tutoring, while working a "third-class technical expert on probation" at the Patent Office in Bern.

Einstein did his best work at home while he worked at the patent office and by 1905 he had completed his major work. He later received a doctorate from the University of Zurich, but no position there. Instead, he was promoted to "second-class technical expert" at the Patent Office and only in 1909 did Einstein stop working for the Patent Office. After first rejecting his application for a doctorate degree, the University of Bern eventually awarded him the doctorate and Einstein became a private college lecturer.

So, what conclusion can we draw from the Einstein example? That the education system wasn't very helpful in recognizing his talents when he needed it? That the educational establishment first ignored his talents, only to give Einstein some credit years after he had completed his major work? That the current education system, with its emphasis on literacy and numeracy testing, wouldn't have acted any better? That homeschooling and doing research at home is likely to give better results than putting trust into the education system?
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Indeed, the education system has changed little over the years. In this age of computers, the teachers are still in front of the classroom with sticks and chalk, forcing kids to be obedient and listen to their indoctrination. An Einstein born today would go through the same misery that Einstein went through when he was forced to attend schools. [source]

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